On Monday afternoon, New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch celebrated their own version of a February holiday three months in advance.
No, not the Super Bowl, but Groundhog Day, as the pair announced in a team statement that fans can expect (at least) seven more weeks of Ben McAdoo.
— Geoff Magliocchetti (@GeoffMags5490) November 13, 2017
Enduring a 1-8 start, the team’s worst through nine games since 1980, Giants fans have called for the ousting of McAdoo, whose 11-5 rookie campaign seems long forgotten. Particularly embarassing have been the past two weeks, which have featured a 51-17 shellacking at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams, the worst defeat in the history of MetLife Stadium, and Sunday’ 31-21 defeat to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers. After the Rams loss, a pair of anonymous Giants told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that McAdoo had “lost (the) team”, only fueling speculation that the team would move on early from McAdoo. This statement, however, should quell speculation, at least until after the Giants’ season finale on December 31 against the Washington Redskins.
While not exactly a total vote of confidence in McAdoo, as the owners foreshadowed a postseason evaluation, McAdoo, who has repeatedly insisted he’s not worried about his job security, it would appear he gets to finish his second season. The Giants have not fired a coach during the season since 1976, when Bill Arnsparger was released following an 0-7 start.
True to his minimalist form, McAdoo did not comment much on ownership’s assurance during a Monday late afternoon conference call, expressing only a desire to recover from the San Francisco debacle and prepare for this upcoming Sunday’s visit from the Kansas City Chiefs in East Rutherford (1:00 PM, CBS).
“I’m in the process of finishing up grading the film from the last ballgame and starting on the next one. That’s where my focus is right now,” McAdoo said. “(I’m) working to find a way to get the team better and coach the team better and put us in position to win at home, get our first home win of the year.”
With several observers commenting that members of the defense appeared to give half effort during the loss in San Francisco, McAdoo again expressed his dependence on the game film.
That’s something that we’re taking a look at,” he said. “We have a 46-man roster on game day and the players who are going to go out and do it the way we ask them to do it and do it on a consistent basis, they’re going to get a chance to play.”
While McAdoo didn’t elaborate on management’s comments, a pair of prominent Giants made their thoughts known via different platforms. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who left the 49er game with an ankle injury, shared his support via Twitter, calling McAdoo by his Beyonce-inspired nickname.
Benny with the good hair 🙌🏾🙏🏾
— Damon Harrison Sr. (@snacks) November 13, 2017
Quarterback Eli Manning likewise came to McAdoo’s defense during his weekly appearance on Mike Francesa’s afternoon radio talk show Mike’s On on WFAN. He called the Mara/Tisch statement “the right move”.
“This is not on Coach McAdoo,” Manning told Francesa. “This is on the players playing better than what we are right now.” He later added that anonymous reports were “kind of a weak way to express your opinion”, saying he has not seen any “bickering” in the locker room.
“We’re not playing well enough to win football games. That’s how simple it is,” Manning said. “It starts from the players that are expected to do good things, and play great. I got to play better, I got to hold onto the football, can’t turn the ball over and make the plays.”
The Giants have seven games remaining on their schedule, including four games at MetLife Stadium. Each of the remaining games are against teams either currently in a playoff spot or a maximum of two games out.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490